Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ticats Hamilton Grey Cup in 2013?

I posted a couple of days ago about trying to get the Grey Cup in 2014 for the last season of Ivor Wynne. Now there's a story in the Spec about the Cats and the city trying for the Grey Cup in 2013, using the new stadium. There's several surprising things about this. First that the year would be 2013, which I assumed the stadium would not be finished by, especially considering it is June 2010 and the city and the Ticats are still bickering over a suitable stadium site. The other is holding it in the new stadium itself, which by itself would be quite small for the Grey Cup. Assuming the Cats somehow get a 25,000 seat stadium with open ends, the Cats could probably add bleachers at both end zones although getting above 40,000 might be difficult. Conceivably the stadium could be built such that adding extra bleachers for special events like the Grey Cup is an easier undertaking. I still think holding one last Grey Cup in Ivor Wynne is worth exploring, although the stadium may now be so decrepit, adding seats would more difficult than in 1996.

One issue that the Grey Cup brings up is obviously where is the hell is the stadium going to go? I've harped about this idea in the past, but putting a stadium in Confederation Park vastly increases the likelihood that visitors using the facility would stay in Burlington hotels rather than ones in downtown Hamilton. Not a huge deal for regular season games, but for a Grey Cup and a depressed Hamilton hotel market as it is, that's a lot less benefit for the city. I'm away next week, but maybe the week after I'll test drive going from a Burlington hotel to Confederation Park versus going from the Sheraton in Jackson Square. I'm guessing Burlington will end up a much shorter journey. What's the point of having a Grey Cup in Hamilton if Burlington slurps up all the benefits?

So with a Confederation Park site, the city could host a Grey Cup, try and arrange events downtown in the preceding week, but have a much more difficult time of it. Conversely a west harbour site is reasonably close to Hess Village. Maybe the possibility of making some money off a 2013 Grey Cup could help the Cats to agreeing to the west harbour.

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